I remember the first support group meeting I attended. I wanted them to tell me how to make an alcoholic stop drinking. I desperately needed them to tell me how to help my wife who was battling alcoholism. I thought for sure that this was the place that could make the problem go away. After all, in my mind Al-anon was the place that was supposed to give me the cure for the family alcoholism problem.
I was shocked when they told me that there was nothing that I could do to make my wife quit drinking. Instead, in that first alcoholism support group meeting, I heard that I had no control over the situation. I was encouraged by the kind people to keep coming back.
I decided to do just that and continued to attend as many meetings as possible. Soon, I began to realize that there was something that I could do to help this difficult situation that I was living in to get better.
I began to learn how to stop enabling and rescuing the alcoholic in my life. It’s in my nature to try and help people get well. If someone is having financial difficulties, I like to help them out. If they cannot handle responsibilities in life, I feel it’s my duty to help as much as I can.
When we are dealing with alcoholism, it works the complete opposite. Rather than help the alcoholic out of their problems, we learn to let them suffer the consequences of their poor choices. This can help them reach a bottom quicker, when they experience the consequences of their actions. When we are continually rescuing them, they may never get well.
When we are lying for them, bailing them out of jail, calling their boss and making excuses for them or helping them out with financial situations, we are often making the road too smooth.
When an alcoholic feels the discomfort of situations they have created, due to their dysfunctional behaviors, there is a much greater chance that they will hit bottom quicker. This is the hope that we all hold on to-we want the friend, alcoholic spouse or co-worker to realize they are a mess. As long as we keep cleaning up the messes they make, they might never want help for their alcoholism.
The other way you can help someone who suffers from alcoholism is by being prepared for when they do finally hit bottom. This can be extremely helpful when you know exactly how to get them the help they need once they are finally ready. When an alcoholic asks for help, we can point them in the right direction. It’s good to know ahead of time what rehab will accept your insurance and have the preliminary things worked out already.
Those are really the only ways that I know of how to help someone with an alcoholism problem. If you sign up for our Free email mini-course, you will gain access to some audio lessons that will help you learn how to cope with this situation. They are designed to lead you into a lifestyle of experiencing more peace while living with an alcoholic.